Is health at the bottom of your to-do list? Perhaps you’re spending a lot of time ensuring that everyone else is healthy and well, at the expense of your own needs. Maybe you’re the kind of person who waits for something to break, or to be so run down that you have no other choice but to give your health some attention. And when you reach that stage, there’s usually a LOT more attention required than you’d like! Getting healthy doesn’t need to be complicated. But it does need your attention. Here are three easy ways to take charge of your health.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.“Buddha
Have a blood test
A comprehensive blood test is a great place to start to assess where you’re at with your health. This can be performed by a GP, but I highly recommend you work with a functional medicine practitioner or a naturopath.
You need optimal ranges and levels of micronutrients to have energy and a well-functioning body and mind. Often, GPs look for normal lab ranges. In some cases, these are created using populations that contain a significant number of unhealthy individuals. A functional medicine practitioner or a naturopath can help you interpret the results accurately and look for the root causes of imbalance.
When it comes to your health, it shouldn’t be just about patching up the holes, but also about looking for what caused the holes to appear in the first place. If you want to know more about how these practitioners work, check out my article HERE.
Check your gut
One of the primary functions of the gut flora is to aid in digesting food. It matters because ultimately you are what you can digest, not what you eat! You could have the best diet in the world, spend a lot of money on nutritious, organic food but it won’t make a difference if you can’t absorb the nutrients from what you eat.
Bottom line: you cannot achieve optimal health without a healthy gut. And when it comes to gut health, you really need to test, not guess! Gut imbalances don’t always manifest through gut symptoms (bloating, abdominal pain, constipation). Poor memory, brain fog, difficulties to concentrate, even depression and anxiety can be caused by poor gut health.
GPs can perform a standard stool test to screen for common parasites. I recommend that you work with a functional medicine practitioner or a naturopath again, for thorough testing. They can help you address unwanted invaders including bacteria overgrowth and also assist with repairing the gut lining and gut flora. You can also check this interesting article from Dr Mark Hyman on gut health.
Sort out your sleep
When was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and energised? When did you last jump out of bed without hitting snooze ten times? Or fell asleep like a baby and slept through the night without waking?
Sleep supports your mental, emotional and physical health. It’s a very active phase when your body and mind do all the important repairing, regenerating, and resetting work. To do that properly, it’s not just the quantity of sleep you get that matters but also the quality.
To get quality sleep, you need to pay attention to your sleep hygiene (the habits that contribute to a restorative night’s sleep):
- finish your meal at least two hours before you go to bed.
- sleep in a dark and cool room.
- wind down before going to sleep.
- don’t expose yourself to blue light emitted by devices and screens at night.
- listen to this yoga nidra recording to support restful sleep (before falling asleep or to go back to sleep if you wake up during the night).
What about little people?
All of the above is valid and important to address with little ones too. Children’s gut health is essential to their wellbeing, the quality of their sleep and their ability to focus. Children are also more prone to picking up parasites and worms…and spreading the love! And sleep hygiene is something that can be taught at an early age. If your little ones wake you up during the night, past the infant stage, work with a holistic practitioner to find out how they can be supported in having better sleep. Sometimes nutrient deficiencies and other underlying health issues can cause poor sleep with children.
I hope this inspires you to take action! As always, start with just one step, and you’ll be well on your way to give your health the attention it deserves. A well-functioning and healthy body supports a strong and efficient mind…which ultimately supports a flourishing life!
If you’re ready to dive deep into your health and wellbeing don’t hesitate to get in touch with me HERE. I’d be happy to answer your questions. I also offer tailored support and resourced through my holistic wellbeing service which you can read more about HERE.
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